• Competitive Bidding ‘Antithesis’ of Obama’s Executive Order

    From: Home Care Magazine

    WASHINGTON — Could a presidential executive order be the key to revising, if not repealing, the DMEPOS competitive bidding program? The answer could depend on whether or not President Obama is keen on enforcing the order, according to a spokesman for the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness.

    “We hope it is a mechanism that can be used. A lot depends on how interested the [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is in following the administration’s new policy,” said Bruce Levinson of the CRE, a watchdog organization that has challenged CMS on its implementation of competitive bidding, as well as its failure to divulge financial requirements for bidders. “And a second part is, how willing is the administration in enforcing the new policy?”

  • President Unveils New Regulatory Strategy: Will CMS Adhere?

    The White House released a series of documents, including an Executive Order and two Memoranda, presenting the Administration’s regulatory strategy.  Transparency, flexibility, scientific integrity, and small business protection are cornerstones of the strategy — none of which are embodied in CMS’ DME competitive bidding program.

    For example, the Administration’s Fact Sheet for the new strategy states that “Agencies must consider approaches that maintain freedom of choice and flexibility, including disclosure of relevant information to the public.”  In contrast to the new policy, the competitive bidding program strips freedom of choice and flexibility from millions of Medicare beneficiaries.  Instead of disclosing relevant information about the competitive bidding program, such as the agency’s specific financial standards that are required by law to be “specified,” CMS keeps them a secret.

  • Repeal bidding program, say poll respondents

    From: HME News

    By Theresa Flaherty Managing Editor – 01.14.2011

    YARMOUTH, Maine – HME providers may differ on what’s the best strategy for dealing with competitive bidding, but a majority still support efforts to repeal the program.

    In a recent HME NewsPoll, 62% of respondents said they favored repealing competitive bidding over supporting an alternative to the program or letting Round 1 play out.

    “They should strive to get competitive bidding stopped immediately, before they create undue chaos,” said Brent Smith, president of Smith Medical in Edmond, Okla., a Round 2 bid area. “Patients will be left on their own and not get what they need.”

  • Repeal Competitive Bidding—Please!

    From: Home Care Magazine

    WASHINGTON—Competitive bidding may have started, but the industry hasn’t stopped its efforts to get the program repealed.

    On Thursday, the American Association for Homecare sent a letter to leaders in the House of Representatives asking them to include repeal of the DMEPOS bidding program in H.R. 2, the bill that would repeal the entire health care reform law.

    The GOP has titled its legislation “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” The AAHomecare letter pounds home the job loss theme in the HME sector under competitive bidding, stating:

  • Code red: CMS notifies non-contract suppliers of problem

    From: HME News

    BALTIMORE – Within days of competitive bidding’s start date, CMS notified non-contract, grandfathered suppliers that there might be a “problem” when they submit claims for purchased accessories and supplies for use with grandfathered equipment.

    CMS did not detail the problem, stating only that it was discovered “through testing of the Medicare claims processing system.”

    The agency has created a temporary solution that will allow suppliers to continue to receive payment for these items: They have to append affected HCPCS codes with the “KY” modifier. The affected codes are, for CPAP, A4604, A7030-39, A7044-46 and E0561-62; for hospital beds, E071-72, E0280 and E0310; and for walkers, E0154-58.